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Protected: Marketing project: Investigation feedback Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Posted by D in assessment, myp comp apps 10, myp comp apps 9.
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Problems with technology: weapons Sunday, 6 September 2009

Posted by D in myp comp apps 10.
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Today I caught a TV programme that may be useful to some of you.

Channel 71, Discovery Science: The Reinventors, Season 2, Episode 1.

Deals with the machine gun, so get your research cap on and check it if you think it may be useful to your particular topic!

MLA formatting of sources Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Posted by D in comp apps 11/12, media 10, miscellaneous, myp comp apps 10, myp comp apps 9, myp comp studies g1, myp comp studies g2.
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If you’re new to the MLA format to refer to sources of information, try the free online services

They’ll help you ensure that your bibliography/works cited list is in the correct format. Just fill in the information you know about the source, they help you with the rest.

For more detailed information check these resources from

I have also found a very interesting blog about information literacy called BiblioTech Web.

How to present survey results Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Posted by D in myp comp apps 10, myp comp apps 9, myp comp studies g1, myp comp studies g2.
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This is a question we often hear as we go through our Investigation stage of the MYP Design Cycle.

When you survey a group of people, remember to make a reasonable number of questions that are pertinent to your topic. Design your questions so the answers are specific and easy to quantify;  that’s why you always hear us recommending multiple choice, yes/no, and Likert scale types of items for surveys.

If you need to ask open questions, then do interviews better.

Going back to our post title, please head to this web page that shows the results of a survey in a really neat way:

http://www.vault.com/surveys/manners/index.jsp

How to do good research (and have fun too!) Saturday, 15 November 2008

Posted by magicpockets in comp apps 11/12, myp comp apps 10, myp comp apps 9, myp comp studies g1, myp comp studies g2.
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After the first few sections of the project were submitted, it became painfully clear that a large number of students are unsure about how to approach the research aspect of their project.

It seems that many people think “research” means logging on to Google and typing in a couple of words and then hoping for the best. This reminds me of a joke that was popular when I was growing up:

Two men rent a boat and go fishing at a lake and have a fantastic day – they each catch several large trout and agree they must return the following day to extend their luck.
One man, lets call him Jacques, says “Hey Henri, did you mark the spot where we caught all those fish?”
Henri nods his head and says “Oh yes Jacques, I put an X on the side of the boat!”
Jacques is angered by this and says “You idiot…how do you know we’ll get the same boat?”

Using very general search terms on Google is the academic equivalent of this silly behaviour, and will likely result in the same level of success.
To do GOOD research, you need a strategy. Here‘s a good place to learn more: http://www.lib.monash.edu.au/vl/www/wwwcon.htm

Check the rest of the “common mistakes” entries under this tag: mistakes

Common mistakes in Investigation Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Posted by magicpockets in myp comp apps 10, myp comp apps 9, myp comp studies g1, myp comp studies g2.
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Over the past few years, we have noticed that many MYP students don’t clearly understand how to get the best possible marks on this section of the project.  Causes of this vary, but the most common issue seems to be a misunderstanding of the role of the rubric in this process.

The rubric is what the MYP technology teacher actually uses to mark your projects. Therefore, if you can clearly understand what the teacher is looking for, you have a good chance of scoring in the upper zones of the assessment criteria:

Firstly, lets talk in general terms about what is necessary to include in your work, roughly in chronological order:

1)  Explain the issue / problem that your project is trying to address. It’s critical at this point that you are able to JUSTIFY the need for your project to exist; normally, this requires you to explain in some detail why your project will be useful and help people within a certain audience.

2(  Next, after you establish a valuable or worthy topic, it is now time for you to display your ability to critically investigate the problem and evaluate the research data from a broad range of appropriate and acknowledged sources.  Most successful projects will display good research on both the topic under consideration and some potential modes to present it with.

You, the MYP and Debbie Zigglegainsburger

A common problem that occurs here is referred to as the Debbie Zigglegainsburger mistake.  If you had a crush on Debbie Zigglegainsburger and wanted to look up her number in the phone book, you would not begin at the letter A and read all the way to Z before finding Debbie’s name…right?

Similarly, when you do research, you shouldn’t just type in a general set of words to Google and expect to find success.  Its important to take a moment to ask some defining questions in terms of the topic, the probable knowledge level of your audience (a questionnaire helps here) and a varying set of opinions regarding the pros and cons of your chosen topic.

Here’s a simple example to illustrate:  Imagine that you have been asked to do a project on the “dangers of technology”.  You decide to do your project on the use of cell phones in modern society.

So…..following on what I wrote earlier, it would first be important to determine a useful issue or problem that exists in relatiion to cell phones.  A common concern for many people involves the role of radiation and the dangers of cancers caused by these devices.  So, logically, it would be a good idea to hand out a questionnaire and determine the knowledge level concerning this question.  If a large number of respondents don’t appear to know much about this topic or appear to be unconcerned, this would offer a good justification for the existence of your project!  In other words, you want to warn other people about the possible dangers of using cellphones.

Next, you will have to break down the topic into smaller components to make it easier to research. A brainstorming approach might work well here.  After the brainstorming, it might become easier to break down the topic into smaller, more doable questions like “Who says cellphones are safe? Why?”  Who says cellphones are dangerous? Why?”….or do some cellphones release more radiation than others?….you get the picture by now.

In order to do the research, don’t depend entirely on using the internet.  Consider the role of a questionnaire (use Surveymonkey for this purpose…its free) and collate the data together.  Also, look into the library for those odd looking square things that collect dust….commonly referred to as “books”.  Periodicals, magazines and newspaper articles can also yield valuable and very up to date information for your research.

Getting tired?  Please send in comments or questions below….. I will continue with all this shortly.